Cardiff Airport.

The Welsh Labour Government paid £55,300,000 for Cardiff Airport in 2013 – even though it caters for fewer that 30 flights a day and is still losing money.

Hard on the heels of yesterday’s apology from the Welsh Labour Government’s First Minister – Carwyn Jones – after the land-deal fiasco that cost taxpayers’ millions – today the Auditor General for Wales has highlighted fundamental “weaknesses” in the Welsh Government’s case for taking  Cardiff Airport into public ownership.

The airport was bought from its Spanish owners in 2013 for £55,300,000 – a sum criticised at the time for being far too much for what was a run-down airport which caters for less that 30 flights a day.

A rare treat. Only 15 planes a day land at the Cardiff Airport

A rare sight – an airliner coming in to land at Cardiff Airport – one of only 15 planes a day touch down at the nationalised terminal bought for “over the odds” by the Welsh Labour Government

The Auditor General of Wales Huw Vaughan Thomas

The Auditor General of Wales Huw Vaughan Thomas

The auditor-general , Huw Vaughan Thomas says the Welsh Labour Government didn’t “set out clearly enough its investment objectives or its consideration of alternative options, risks and benefits.”

His report says that – although the Welsh Government gave “some consideration” to other options – acquisition was the preferred option from the outset .

In coming up with a cash offer  – airport was valued as a “public asset”  – which “applied different assumptions to the commercial valuations” . However the Welsh Government eventually accepted a “commercial valuation” based on specific assumptions about the airport’s overall commercial performance .

Other problems in the acquisition are also noted by the Auditor General. He says  “the need for external finance is greater than forecast at the time of the acquisition and progress against the overall business plan has been slower than previously forecast.” 

Today’s report also reveals that there is “no formal plan to realise wider benefits from the acquisition of the airport“.

Huw Vaughan Thomas, Auditor General for Wales, said today “Turning the Airport around is proving more challenging than the Welsh Government expected at the time of the acquisition, despite some positive developments. ”

Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies

Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies

Penarth’s Assembly Member  Andrew RT Davies (Conservative South Wales Central) says  the revelations call into question Labour’s “economic judgement” .

He said “This is yet another example of the Welsh Labour Government’s stunning failure to safeguard taxpayers’ money, with tens of millions of pounds going to waste – despite clear, professional advice which should have told them that the price they were prepared to pay for the airport was over the odds.”

“At a time when councils, hospitals and schools are facing a financial squeeze we have two clear examples of Labour wasting huge sums of money. It’s unforgivable and quite rightly communities across the Vale of Glamorgan will be asking some serious questions of the Welsh Labour leadership.”

About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Frank Evans says:

    Wow. It’s just one mess up after another. I would advise people to vote for anyone other than labour. No wonder half the labour AMS are jumping ship, me thinks they see the writing on the wall.

  2. Willy Wonka says:

    Another sum of money equivalent to a hospital wing lost again by the Assembly.

    Let’s not blame the party and become partisan. It is the Assembly experiment isn’t working whom ever is in charge We don’t have the calibre of people on what is in effect a ‘council of wales’ to run these kinds of deals without the public losing out. They are just so below par.

    The first minister announced WAG were going to buy the Airport publicly before the negotiations begun. If you did that in the commercial world you would expect to lose you shirt. They can afford to buy in expertise to help yet they still end up with such poor results.

    We should shut the assembly post haste and revert to the Welsh Office model where at least we had some quality brains that were Uxbridge educated.

    • Frank Evans says:

      I have to agree with this comment, the mantra from the current AMS is they don’t have enough talent, if only they could get to 100 AMs then talent would magically appear. More likely we have have has been second rate councillors playing at trying to run a country and failing miserably

      • Willy Wonka says:

        Well if you halved the number of AMs and doubled the salaries, I can guarantee Wales could attract the talent back to the country but doubling up on already weak gene pool is not the way to go. Remember that the whole of the US, 350 million population is governed by 100 representatives. By comparison per capita, Wales only needs 1.

  3. Tony says:

    Welsh Labour seem very keen to spend OUR money-there does seem to be more passenger planes flying around lately but very little advertising about the routes, just an occasional column in “The Echo”-the perception still seems to be that tumble weed blows across the runways at Cardiff Airport which is deserted most of the time-it just does not seem viable.

  4. This is what happens when you have career politicians; they have no real experience of the wider world. Especially the world of business and commerce. Why do they think they can run such an enerprise? Why weren’t specialists, who have experience in this area, brought in?
    Shame making.

  5. CelticMan says:

    The lunatics are in charge of the Asylum once again!

  6. Matt says:

    Not a good week for the welsh assembly first the land sale debacle and now the airport! How to lose over 50 million quid in 2 easy steps!

  7. Anne Other says:

    Why would a government wish to buy an airport?

Comments are closed.